Follow your Animal instinct and head to the Auditorium
THE Sixties package tours were big business back in the day, but even 50 years on, they're still packing them in, and the 2012 1960s Gold Tour promises to be no exception.
This year's line-up at Grimsby Auditorium brings together Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Animals, PJ Proby and Love Affair's John Ellis... who recently stepped into the breach due to the illness of Chip Hawkes who was originally part of the tour.
John Steel, drummer with The Animals, hopes his old friend will make a good recovery.
"We've worked a lot with Chip, more than with the other artists on the bill and it was very sad when we heard he'd had to pull out, but he really is seriously ill and we all wish him a speedy recovery."
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
If we cannot find you a tenant within one month, we will find you one for FREE, yes FREE, you will pay no fees.
Contact 01472 355553
Terms: Terms and Conditions Apply
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Tuesday, May 21 2013
As part of The Animals, John played on such classic hits as The House of the Rising Sun and We've Gotta Get Out of This Place.
After many splits and reunions, John and original guitarist Hilton Valentine got back together to play the music of The Animals once again.
The 71-year-old Geordie said: "It was in 1993, but then Hilton married an American who didn't want to live in England, so he left and emigrated to the States about 10 years ago.
"On keyboards, we had Dave Rowberry, who replaced Alan Price in the original band, but he sadly died and we've got Micky Gallagher, who also played with us back then.
"We've also got a crackin' new guitar player, who's been with us about a year. He's called Danny Handley and comes from Lancashire, and on bass we have Pete Barton, who's played with just about everybody."
Everybody is aware of Gerry & The Pacemakers catalogue of hits such as Ferry Cross The Mersey and I Like It.
John added: "We call it his fish song – as in there's a plaice for us."
With such an upbeat character as John around, it should be a good time for the artists.
"We're going to have a lot of fun, it'll be hilarious and there's sure to be some pranks backstage. It'll be just like the old package tours of the sixties."
Steve Ellis and Love Affair had a handful of hits including Everlasting Love and Bringing on Back the Good Times.
John then explained the show's running order.
"Steve will be up first and we will close the first half, then the second half will start off with PJ and Gerry closes the whole show.
"And in case you're wondering, the musical backing for Steve and PJ will be by The Pacemakers. And you'll be treated to the hits – it'll be a hit-fest.
"We're going to a lot of places, and some we've been going to since the sixties.
"I really love these theatre tours though; you always get a good vibe.
"I'm really looking forward to playing Grimsby as well. It's always a great place to play and the crowd's always up for it."
There seems to be a sort of immortality about sixties artists – very few of them want to retire, and John Steel is no exception.
"I keep doing it because I like it. I wouldn't do it if I didn't.
"It's a great way to make a living."
After the tour, The Animals will be carrying on with business as usual.
"We've got a few other gigs in the UK and Germany before Christmas and then we'll have a short break before starting a UK tour with Steve Cropper of Booker T and the MG's towards the end of January."
The 1960s Gold Tour, starring Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Animals, PJ Proby and John Ellis will be appearing at the Grimsby Auditorium tomorrow at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £26 to £28.50 to book visit www.atgtickets.com or call 08700 602331.